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  • Writer's picturekyndall wood

Optometrist VS Ophthalmologist VS Optician

We are here to bring some clarity to the nuances of these different roles in the Optometry Industry! Here we go- let's get right to it!


Optometrist VS Ophthalmologist

Think about your Optometrist as your primary care doctor for your eyes. Optometrists spend 4 years getting their undergrad degree and another four years in optometry school. They then have 3 rounds of board exams to pass to receive their Doctorate in Optometry. Optometrists are your friendly family eye doctor.

scope of practice(TEXAS)

  • Glasses prescription

  • contact lens prescription

  • specialty contact lens prescription

  • glaucoma diagnosis and treatment

  • oral medication

  • oral steroid prescriptions

  • dry eye treatment

  • ocular surface disease diagnosis and treatment

  • diagnostic imaging of the retina

  • diagnosis of retinal detachments and holes

  • infection

  • hordeolum/stye

  • diagnosis of eye muscle problems

  • foreign body removals

  • cataract co-management

  • macular degeneration

This list is a broad overview of the Optometrist's scope of practice. Optometrists frequently co-manage these diseases with ophthalmologists and frequently refer to a local ophthalmologist for more specialized and invasive treatments.


An ophthalmologist is a specialist and/or an ocular surgeon. Ophthalmologist work with optometrists to treat and manage eye diseases. Ophthalmologists typically specialize in certain parts of the eye, like a retinal specialist, cornea specialist, etc. They also perform surgeries like cataracts, LASIK, eye muscle surgeries, and so much more. Opthalmogoist goes to traditional medical school after their undergraduate degree and then complete a residency in ophthalmology.


Ophthalmologists and optometrists are both eye doctors and experts in all things eye and eye health. Optometrists are your primary care doctors specializing in yearly eye exams and diagnosis of diseases. Ophthalmologists are your specialist and surgeons, and both work hand in hand with each other in pursuit of excellent care and eye health!


Optician: An optician is a huge part of optometry. They play a similar role as a nurse plays to a doctor. They carry out the orders and RX prescribed by the doctor. They are experts in eye insurance, frame styles, lenses, and contacts. They manage your glasses and contact lens order and help you understand your eye insurance coverage. They manage the doctor's schedule within the practice. They also can perform the testing required for proper examination and diagnosis of ocular diseases. Opticians are the backbone of your eyecare experience!


All three of these roles have a considerable part in optometry and work in harmony together. We hope this brought clarity and insight (SEE what we did there?!) to these vital roles in your eyecare.

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